The Next Dreamer In Line

Do you remember how we used to play? How we extended each other? How we brought your imagination to bear on those willing to listen?

Distant, longer days and nights alive with the bending of boundaries. Souls cast out into the glare of a single spotlight, thrown upon the collective mercy of the gathered few.

We do not belong here. Barricaded in this graveyard of youth by the transient clutter of lives that have altered.

And yet we remain. Strings broken. Necks unbowed. Settled amongst the dust.


Waiting for you to remember.

Waiting for the next dreamer in line.

Story footnote: A moment of inspiration.

The guitars you see in the header photo are 50% mine.

What I mean is, two of the four are mine. I don’t have six month timeshare custody of all four. That would be weird.

The Fender acoustic in the front with the broken string is my most recent personal purchase. It got damaged about a year ago when a small child (not one of mine for once) fell into it and sheared off a tuning key. I’ve been meaning to get it fixed but life keeps getting in the way.

The Washburn electric on the right is the cheaper of the two Nuno Bettencourt models they released twenty-odd years ago. We shared a lot of gigs and studio time together once upon a history.

The tiny acoustic on the left belongs to my son, and the backwards strung acoustic in the middle belongs to my wife. I still hope one day when they learn we’ll all jam together. On something easy so I can keep up.

Missing from the picture are my two prized possessions. My Gibson Les Paul Studio (which I no longer have any right to own given my lack of playing) and my 100% custom original black and white Washburn. I say black and white because it was black and now it is white.

Like most (all) guitarists I had a moment where I decided I would sand my guitar down and respray it. Translated this means I will partially take it apart, partially sand it down, realise it’s a long and difficult job and then leave it in bits for years. Luckily for me I am blessed with the best brother a man could wish for and he got it fixed up, resprayed and reanimated. Even better than that he gave it to me as a present for being best man at his wedding. Where it was being played by the guitarist in his band. The same band that he and his wife drummed and sang respectively in as part of the wedding day. Rock and roll, people.

Suffice to say if I was only allowed to keep one, the Gibson is toast.

As I sat down to write tonight I saw the guitars in the corner of the room and they spoke to me. I got some memories and the thought that maybe I need to start playing again. You got a story.

Everybody wins.


10 thoughts on “The Next Dreamer In Line

  1. What’s that saying- ‘dance like no-one’s watching… sing/ play like no-one’s listening… ‘ Its amazing what we put away in the cupboard with ‘one day’ in mind to re-start playing, drawing or writing again.
    So did you pluck on those strings – today?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very fine blog post, Nik. Both prose and personal anecdote were really nice. I play a bit of piano myself, as you know. Not well enough to play publicly, but well enough for it to still be fun, even if I’m alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tobbe – another one of those happy accidents that I had no idea I was going to write until I started writing it. Music is such a wonderful thing and being able to play an instrument to whatever standard provides so much joy. I played piano as a kid and would love to buy another one – note to self… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Go for it! I annoy Sophie every day. Oh I mean, I sing for Sophie every day. 😉 No but seriously, she likes it. Before we met, we knew each other online, and the first time she heard my voice was a song I sang for her. Yes I am a hopelessly pathetic romantic. I think there’s something beautiful in that she still likes to listen to me sing to her. I wouldn’t say I can sing well, but that’s not important. What is important is, she likes to listen to my voice. Could I marry a better person? Nope! 🙂 Sorry for being this person and sorry for bringing that person to your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You and I are kindred spirits my friend. We are both serial apologisers, we have both found women above our pay grades and we are both hopeless romantics. I was playing in bands when T and I got together and I promised her I’d never write a song about her. One of the best songs we ever recorded was a song called 15 Minutes that I wrote about her while she was back in SA for a time. She’s one of the few people who’s heard me sing it rather than our lead vocalist 🙂


  3. I loved the flash fiction and then the explanation – I rather enjoyed the thought of you and the family strumming away together – perhaps with your little girl on the drums – I think she would do well on the drums!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Diane 🙂 I’m glad you liked the footnote – it felt like I needed to give some context and background to the drabble so I’m glad it was worthwhile.

      Rhys is also keen on drums – very happy to spend time on my brother’s electronic kit while we were in the UK last year – so perhaps I should buy a kit. For the kids. Honest.

      Liked by 1 person

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